I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hiromi Ohta -- Akai High Heel(赤いハイヒール)

Hiromi Ohta(太田裕美)must look back at the mid-1970s and look back fondly. Not only did she score her most successful hit with what has become her trademark song "Momen no Handkerchief"(木綿のハンカチーフ)at the end of 1975, but then she backed that up with her 2nd-most successful single in "Akai High Heel" (Red High Heels).

Released in June 1976 as her 5th single, "Akai High Heel" was written by the same duo who took care of her previous single of "Momen no Handkerchief", Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)and Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平). Alternating between wistful and jaunty, the song has a bit more darkness in its story about a couple who come to the big city with the guy buying his girlfriend (or wife) a pair of those red high heels. The heels become the lyrical representation of their turbulent time in Tokyo as the shoes start getting damaged. By the end of the song, it's decided that the two will return to their hometown in the countryside.

As I got further into the lyrics, I realized that both the woman and the man were giving their opinions on the situation within each verse with the former enjoying her time in the big city far less than the latter. But although there was sadness at the beginning of each verse, there would be hope by the end, especially when the couple came to the conclusion that their hometown was probably the best place to be after all...without needing to wear the heels anymore.

"Akai High Heel", like "Momen no Handkerchief", peaked at No. 2 and became the 13th-ranked single of the year. The song became a million-seller and was placed in Ohta's 4th album, "Tezukuri no Gashuu"(手作りの画集...Homemade Art Book).

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